Burlap Shearers Moccasins

The Petting Zoo

I was surprised to learn recently of Burlap being used for shoes. Whilst still at the local country show held in Brisbane – the Ekka, we went to the Petting Zoo for the boys to feed and cuddle the Baby Animals. Upon exiting the petting zoo we ended up at a stage decorated with Burlap sacks, so of course it immediately caught my eye!

Shearing Presentation Stage


We noticed the presentation was about to start so we decided to sit down and rest out feet for a while. The presentation was about wool and the shearing industry. A shearer came on stage and demonstrated how to shear a sheep and prepare the fleece for bailing. The children were quite enthralled with the whole process.

But what I found most interesting was that shearers wear a special type of footwear called a ‘Shearer’s Moccasin’. These are made out of soft leather and help the shearer to slide across the ‘boards’ of the shearing shed floor. In days gone by, shearers would make these themselves out of burlap sacks. They would cut up the wool bales and make them into moccasins so they could move around the shed floor easier. I am constantly surprised the history and versatility of the humble Burlap Sack. So many uses and so little credit!

Explaining the History of Shearers Moccasins


P.S. If any of you happen to have a photo of any old Shearer’s moccasin’s made from Burlap I would love to see it.

Burlap as Wearable Art

The Ekka is on at the moment (our local country comes to the city show in Brisbane, Australia) and so we took the boys down last weekend for a day of fun!First stop was to visit the craft section and see how we fared with our entries this year. My 6 year old son has entered his owl in the under 16 years machine sewing section – unfortunately they only awarded 1st and 2nd, and his entry was the only other one – a bit mean I thought given it’s a kids section. But we told him he obviously came third – which is a great achievement!

His is the small owl in the centre!

My Burlap Owl was pipped at the post in the Toys section for some really lovely and very detailed fabric toys, this was quite a competitive section.

Looks like he kept watch as night of the exhibits!

But my Hessian and Ticking cape won second place in the ‘Wearable Art’ category. Unforutnately the photos don’t do it justice so when I get it back I will photograph it properly to show you. First place went to a very creative handbag made of old vinyl records and ribbons – wearable art indeed!

The Red Cape at the back is made of Red Burlap with a ticking Lining

Antique Therapy

Today I managed to steal an hour to browse the New Farm Antique Centre. It’s located at 85 Commercial Rd New Farm and is a collective store filled with 53 different dealers mini stores. 

Burlap Cushions

It was a treasure trove of gorgeous vintage and antique finds, but as usual I was drawn to the Burlap items.

I found the some sweet cushions in varying shapes made from Burlap Sacks.

And I also found the coolest Milk Crate stools. A simple milk crate with a cushion topper and then a Burlap Cover. How economical and effective. I can definitely see some of these around the courtyard with a lowest coffee table. Perfect for the kids, and washable!

Crate Stool with Burlap Cover

There was also a stool version which had two milk crates then the cushion topper and longer cover – so simple and yet so genius!